-Dr. Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC
Oeocanthal, a naturally occurring protein found in extra virgin olive oil, has been shown to target and reduce the effect of beta amyloid proteins. These proteins are extremely toxic to the brain and directly promote the cognitive decline found in Alzheimer’s patients. The amyloid proteins produce ADDL’s which bind to the synapse receptors in the brain. Synapses are a particularly important part of our brain as the relay messages to our brain and tell us what to do next. The Oleocanthal substance found in olive oil hinders these ADDLs from attaching to the synapses. Oleocanthal also makes antibodies more effective in combating ADDL’s.
The discovery of Oleocanthal’s effects on Alzheimer’s could potentially be a big breakthrough in producing an efficient Alzheimer’s drug. The key is preservation of the brain’s synapses. If these synapses are blocked by ADDL’s, they become unused and the cells die leading to memory loss-a key symptom of Alzheimer’s. Ibuprofen has also been shown to possess the same kind of qualities as Oleocanthals, but researchers are hopeful that Oleocanthals are even more powerful.